The Tail of the Dragon
2006 July 4
We left Athens,Georgia headed north to join the special club of motorcyclists that have tamed the Dragon at Deals Gap!
Back in the saddle and on the road again...
We'll cross in and out of North Carolina several more times before the day is done. Most of the Tail of the Dragon is in Tennessee and the rest of it is in North Carolina.
We headed over to Deals Gap after checking in a motel in Franklin, NC. These were just some of the warm-up twisty roads we rode on enroute to Deals Gap. US129 which is known in the motorcycle world as The Tail of the Dragon.
Much of the route was originally just an animal trail worn down by large herds of buffalo and then used by Native American Cherokee Indians for centuries. The first white men to use the trail were hunters and trappers in the early 1700s. Deals Gap is actually the gap in the mountains that the road follows.
Deals Gap, located at the North Carolina and Tennessee State Line, is the highest point on the Dragon at 1,962 feet above sea level. It was likely named for one of the early families who settled here.
Riders come from all over the world to ride this 11 mile section of road. What makes this section of road so popular are the number of serious curves in such a short stretch of road --
318 curves in 11 miles!
Deals Gap known as Tail of the Dragon, or just ...The Dragon.
Lots of motorcycles...not many cars.
Even the GPS says we're ready to navigate the Dragon!
We learned what decreasing radius curves are...dangerous, but fun!
Some real good photos that capture the essence of the Dragon can be found at www.killboy.com
Here's one of our new British friends taming the Dragon.
After getting to end of the 11 mile stretch, we turned around and did it again. Up the switchbacks, down the switchbacks, back to the other side...where it's time to fill up with Dragon Juice.
I did a lot of "chasing the yellow ribbons" in the last two months...Notice the yellow ribbon in the turn signal housing?Making our way through the Smoky Mountains and back to Franklin, NC for the night. We made it back to our motel room just as a thunderstorm hit.
What a great day! I want to do it again!!!
Just out Fleetering about...
and doin' some Dragon Tamin'
Copyright 2006 Fleeter Logs